This is update is to inform you of the current grant situation that you were alerted to at the beginning of September. The executive board, legislative chair, and trail advisors have worked together compiling information and action items below. We have found that the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill 42. SB42 authorizes the reallocation of funds from all walks of life within the state of Illinois to support funding in other areas. Below is the section header directly from the SB42. You can also click HERE to see a copy of the SB42. You will also find a document that shows the representatives that voted in favor of SB42:
Sec. 8.52. Special fund transfers. (a) In order to maintain the integrity of special funds and improve stability in the General Revenue Fund, the Budget Stabilization Fund, the Healthcare Provider Relief Fund, and the Health Insurance Reserve Fund, the State Treasurer and the State Comptroller shall make transfers to the General Revenue Fund, the Budget Stabilization Fund, the Healthcare Provider Relief Fund, or the Health Insurance Reserve Fund, from time to time through June 30, 2018, in consultation with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, in amounts not to exceed the total set forth below for each fund:
That brings us up to speed to where we are at right now. The IASC has the ability to check the grant funds. Currently in the STEF account there is approximately $425,000 and no transfers have taken place to remove $150,000 to support the action of SB42 listed above. So right now the $150,000 has been swept from the budget line, not the actual account. But as you can see, it could happen anywhere from now until June 30th of 2018. Aside from the $150,000 being removed from our account as a result of the budget impasse, we still do not have the ability to use the remaining $275,000 residing in the STEF account. For reference, at a minimum we need at least $50,000 to insure our trails for our landowners.
So what do we do from here? We need to mobilize as many members of the Illinois snowmobile community as we can who want to see snowmobiling exist on Illinois ground. As a general member, we need you to act now. There is no doubt that we need the democratic system to work for us, which means we need volumes of voices. There is a fall veto session that starts on October 24th where we may have a chance to turn things around. The IASC is currently working with Illinois State Senator Pam Althoff of the 32nd district who is drafting a bill that will be filed at the October 24th session that will appropriate funding back to us. The IASC has outlined the following items the clubs and members need to do to help:
- We will need as many State of Illinois Legislators to co-sponsor this bill as we can get. We need you to contact your local Illinois House and Senate representative and tell them you are concerned about snowmobiling funding. Direct them to support Senator Pam Althoff’s “Snowmobile Funding in Illinois” bill at the fall veto session. The IASC has put together a letter (available HERE) that highlights talking points for you to relay to your representative. You can use those talking points to call and talk with your representative. Let’s fill those answering machines and email boxes. The talking points can also be sent in via mail to representative offices. You can find your local Illinois Representative and Senator by looking at the following website (www.illinoispolicy.org/maps/). Do not assume that because your neighbor did this that you do not. We cannot stress enough how much every voice matters. This includes contacting general assembly members as a club. This is our best shot to get money re-appropriated this year from the remaining $275,000 not ear-marked for sweeping within the STEF account.
- We need to pressure the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget that is mentioned in SB42 to not transfer $150,000 and to re-appropriate it back into STEF account for all the same reasons listed in the talking points that have been drafted by the IASC. This includes phone contact, emails, and letters. Just maybe they will decide to not transfer the $150,000 and return it back to the grant fund. You can contact the Governor’s office directly or his Office of Management and Budget. Again, this should be done as a individual members and clubs:
- Office of Management and Budget
401 South Spring
603 Stratton Building
Springfield, IL 62706
If you are upset at the content of this memo, we ask that you direct that toward the two avenues listed above. The IASC is working additional angles, but this is exactly what we need you to do and to do quickly. The veto session is scheduled for October 24th, so we need to spread the word with as many members as we can. Make those calls, send those emails, and letters quickly as the window closes every day to increase support.
Let’s get this done!